Connecting dots for digital learning and teaching

Play and Learn Weekly – Oct.13th, 2012

What’s happening in the convergence of play and learn in this week? Check out our picks, if you have something to add, you could tweet this post along with your pick!



Showcase of games that change thinking

Games for Change Festival aims to cultivate new ideas and thinking about how games can provide solutions to social, humanitarian and development challenges. The two day event coming to Melbourne in November will bring together the social impact sector, the gaming industry, government, business, media, academia and the arts to grow the field and collaborate on how individuals and organisations can learn from the power of digital games and play to achieve positive social, educational and business outcomes.

Coming Soon: Gamificati​on World Asia Pacific Nov 28 & 29

Gamification World Asia Pacific, scheduled 28-29 November 2012 will be held at the Amara Hotel, Singapore. For more information, visit

Navy Crowdsources Future Energy Strategy with Wargame

Today the Navy will open up a new version of its MMOWGLI gaming project to players around the world, to develop innovative new “outlier” strategies for Navy and Marine Corps energy supplies.

MMOWGLI – which stands for Massive Multiplayer Online Wargame Leveraging the Internet – was launched last June to enlist help from unconventional thinkers to tackle the issue of piracy with an eye to the Navy’s future technologies, tactics and logistics in 2021 and beyond.

The new iteration, EnergyMMOWGLI, asks the question, “How can the Navy best meet future energy demands?” Drilling for more oil is out – the game is specifically focused on reducing fossil fuel dependency.

game, game for change

How 10 colleges are using game-based learning right now

University of Wisconsin-Madison

Purdue University

University of Oregon

The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania

Michigan State University

University of Central Florida

University of Washington – Bothell

Mercyhurst College

University of Texas at Brownsville

Northern Illinois University

Game based learning at Kilbowie Primary School, West Dunbartonshire, Scotland

The Kodu project was a cross-curricular game based project, spanning across of curricular areas allowing for the involvement of a wide range of secondary subject teachers. As well as creating the games children took part in a variety of learning activities in the primary school. They took notes during the game making process, developed their Kodu characters and wrote imaginative character descriptions whilst exploring vocabulary: adjectives, adverbs, metaphor and similies. They wrote back stories for their games and developed a narrative to go with their game. They also explored different genres and styles of writing and wrote a review of their computer game.

game-based learning

Meet a team of educators who are adding games to the 21st century curriculum

Attendees at the “Games and Learning” panel at New York Comic Con yesterday(Oct.11) afternoon heard from teachers, game designers, and education professionals about using games to facilitate learning. These individuals came off not only as passionate about games, but passionate about educating people.

2012 Social Good Summit (Held in New York City)

How can video games help end women’s oppression? Can mobile phones improve child health? Which social media tools can help address society’s greatest challenges? These were among the questions discussed at this year’s 2012 Social Good Summit organized by social media news site Mashable in partnership with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the telecommunications company, Ericsson, among others.

Hydro: Envirovolt Game Teaches Students about Hydropower

One of the goals at Canadian provincial utility Hydro-Quebec is to teach people more about where they get their energy, and specifically, more about hydropower. One of the tools to accomplish this goal is the Envirovolt educational game kit. The kit contains activities that help students ages 9 to 12 develop notions and competencies that are part of the Quebec Education Program, such as geography and science, as well as cross-curricular competencies: appropriate cooperation and communication. The kit is offered free of charge to schools in the province, as well as to a science day camp.


Information Literacy, Connected Learning, and World of Warcraft

Wading through the many resources can be overwhelming. The wikis, forums, and specialty websites offer a nearly endless supply of information. How then do players find what they are looking for and navigate these spaces? By the use and development of information literacy skills. My research looked at information literacy practices at multiple levels of participation, from the individual, to groups, to the collective intelligence of the community. As a connected learning environment, WoW embodies the core principles in spades…

Why Learning Games Succeed Where Traditional Training Fails

Why is everyone always picking on traditional training? And what makes learning games so special anyway? It’s not that we dislike traditional training, we just think there are a lot more benefits to learning games. For example, learning games are fun, competitive, rewarding, interactive, and attention-grabbing. Traditional training is…not any of those. Just to clarify – we’re talking about learning games here, not gamification.

Games for change: How digital fun is becoming a way to better the world

From world hunger to peace to economic development, a new tool is making a difference: video games.

By the time average Americans turn 21, they have played 10,000 hours of video games. That is equal to the amount of time they will spend in school in the United States between 5th and 12th grade or it is equal to five years in a full time job. According to Malcolm Gladwell’s book, Outliers, a person who spends 10,000 hours on any activity “masters” it.

Take World of Warcraft, a hugely popular interactive virtual reality game with 10.3 million players around the world. It’s not your ’90s Mario Brothers with 10 controls. Warcraft is so complex that the online wiki encyclopedia about the game – characters, history, events – -has 96,890 pages, making it one of the largest wikis in the world. Mastering Warcraft means internalizing vast amounts of the information in that wiki…

‘Serious Games’ Review: “Playing History”

“The Playing History game series is about experiencing engaging personal stories in the larger world history. The series places you in historically significant and interesting time periods, where you will get the chance to be part of history in the making.”


A new design approach to game-based learning

Larsen, L.J. (2012). A new design approach to game-based learning. Journal of Interactive Learning Research, 23(4), 313-323. Chesapeake, VA: AACE.

This paper promotes two different yet interconnected ideas. The first aims to describe a new design perspective for game-based learning, which in many ways not only will provoke the abovementioned latent dream of a closed game-based learning system, but will also confront aspects of modern learning theory, especially the notion of reference between the content of an assignment and the reality with which it should or could be connected (situated learning). The second idea promotes a way of tackling the common experience of the average learner from primary to secondary school. He or she is often unable to fully grasp, understand or comprehend the learning process in which he or she is embedded. Portfolios, and especially e-portfolios, can be used to encourage reflection on both the learner’s development and the learning process in order to ground the student’s reason to learn. This paper proposes a different approach: using visualisation in immersive 3D worlds as both documentation of learning progress and as a reward system which motivates further learning. The overall design idea is to build a game-based learning system from three or more different, yet interconnected, elements; namely a teacher, a web-based platform and an immersive game or play world.


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“Tell me and I will forget, show me and I may remember, involve me and I will understand.” -------- Chinese Wisdom "Games are the most elevated form of investigation." -------- Albert Einstein
"I'm calling for investments in educational technology that will help create digital tutors that are as effective as personal tutors, educational software as compelling as the best video game," President Barack Obama said while touring a tech-focused Boston school (year 2011).
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